With the passage of Title IX, several new sports were implemented at schools to create new opportunities for girls to compete. Volleyball was one of these newly added sports and by the late 1970s, dozens of schools around the U.P. were fielding teams.
Brimley High School created a new volleyball team for girls at the school. Charles Compo became the coach of the team, though he had no previous experience coaching the sport. Compo decided to take his team to tournaments in Lower Michigan, where there was tougher competition. Both he and his players learned the game together and over the next few years developed into the most dominant volleyball program in the U.P.
At that time, the U.P. tournament was Open Class, meaning that Brimley was competing against schools with much bigger enrollments. But this fact did little to intimidate Chuck Compo and his team. In 1981, the Bays took their first U.P. title, defeating Watersmeet. It was the beginning of an amazing run. The team won the next four U.P. titles, defeating Ironwood in 1982 & 1983 and Bessemer in 1984 & 1985. They would win two more Open Class titles in 1987 & 1988. In 1991, under the reins of Coach Walter Hyvarinen, the team won the first Class D U.P. volleyball title.
Charles Compo retired in 1990 with an amazing record of 408 victories and only 74 losses. His teams won nine conference championships and seven regional championships. He was U.P. coach of the year in 1984 and the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1988. In addition to winning the U.P. tournament, in 1988, the Brimley Bays were ranked #1 in the State for Class D and ranked in the top 10 Coaches poll for 9 years. Seventeen of Compo's players would earn All-State honors, a total of 32 times.
Brimley wins 7th U.P. volleyball title
ESCANABA - Brimley won its seventh Upper Peninsula Open Class Volleyball championship in eight years by whipping West Iron County 15-4, 15-0 in the first round and topping rival Cedarville 15-11, 15-9 in the finals on Saturday at Escanaba.
The Bays finished their season 49-3-2 overall and ranked No. 1 in the state in Class D.
It was a second straight title for seniors Laura Compo, Barb Cameron, Laurie Schwiderson, Jo Amble, Michelle Jarucel, and Erin Sherlund.
"A couple of them cried after it was over," Brimley coach Chuck Compo said. "The rest said they'd wail until graduation.
"Our seniors played real well I thought."
Although the Brimley players will probably play some volleyball together this summer, it was an anticlimactic end to the Bays' Bays' successful reign in the U.P.
Cedarville (31-14-6) put up a good fight in the finals, but West Iron County was no match for Brimley It was the inaugural season for the Wykons.
"I thought we played fairly well," said Cedarville coach Mark Engle, whose team was ranked No. 4 in Class D. "I've seen both teams play better."
Ironwood did not give Cedarville much of a battle the other first round game, losing 15-3, 15-1.
The first game of the championship was close.
Cedarville, relying on a solid passing, jumped to a 5-2 lead, but Schwiderson served five straight points to put Brimley ahead 7-5. Despite the 26 sideouts in the game, Brimley never trailed again. The Bays built an 11-6 lead, and held on for the 15-11 win.
'We made four errors in serving, but they were putting the ball down too," Compo said.
Game 2 was tied 5-5 and 7-7, but Brimley managed to take an 11-7 lead and control the rest of the way. The Trojans cut it to 11-9 before Brimley served the last four points.
"We didn't rotate all the way around," Compo said. "I was surprised when I looked at the stat sheet and saw there were only five side-outs."
Laura and Jennifer Compo both were 100 percent in serving for the day.
"Brimley started playing real steady," Engle said. "I wasn't upset that we lost. When I got home, I was thinking it was thinking it was obvious to me that we lost to the best Class D team in Michigan. It was a good Class D match-up. I don't thank you'll see a better match downstate. It's a credit to Chuck and Brimley, and to our kids."
Brimley stat roundup: Laura Compo (20 pts, 8 aces, 10 kills, 3 digs, 34 assists); Joyel Hyvarinen (1 kill); Heather Lufkins (l kill, 1 block, 1 dig); Cameron (8 pts, 4 aces, 17 kills, 9 digs, 2 assists); Schwiderson (13 points, 4 aces, 7 kills, 6 digs, 1 assist); Jennifer Compo (7 points, 2 aces, 8 kills, 4 digs, 2 assists); Sherlund (5 points, 3 aces, 8 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs); Jaurzel (8 points, 3 aces, 2 digs).
Stephanie Tuori and Heidi Sherlund led Cedarville in kills with 12 and six, respectively. Ann Trevarrow was the point leader with 16. Kara Sweeney had six service aces. Jody Smith led in assists with 12. The Trojans' other starter, Mindi Hesser, played well in the back row along with Sherlund and Trevarrow.